Skip to Main Content

APA 6th Edition Referencing: Staff Guidelines

This is a Wintec guide to help you with referencing in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

APA Assessment Guidelines

Assessment Guidelines

1. No more than 5% of the overall marks for each assessment should be allocated solely to the formatting of APA referencing, across all Wintec programmes. Marks may be allocated for showing an understanding and effective use of a range of quality resources (effective from Semester 2, 2018).

2. All staff will follow the Wintec Library APA guide when marking, and promote its usage to learners. 

3. The teaching and learning of APA referencing, and any corresponding grade expectations are scaffolded by level. A suggested guideline follows:

Levels 0-3:

  • Provide a table with basic details regarding where information has come from (who, when, what, where). In-text citations will still require author’s surname, date, and relevant page numbers. When this format is used it should be headed 'References' as would a full APA reference list.
Author’s Name Date of publication Title of work Either the format of the resource (book, website etc.), or ideally, the publishing information/URL.

Levels 4-5:

  • Referencing to follow APA style, but with emphasis on ensuring the works are cited with the correct information, rather than on 'perfect formatting'. 

Levels 6-7:

  •  Referencing should be of a high standard according to APA style and with largely accurate formatting, as appropriate for undergraduate assessment.

Level 8+:

  • It is expected that a Masters level student will not submit work before ensuring their referencing is at publication standard.

4. Academic staff will ensure that they lead by example by following copyright policy and by using correct referencing on their Moodle pages, course readings, handouts, and presentations.

Further recommendations:

  1. Programmes should consider requiring students to complete the Library’s online academic integrity module soon after the commencement of classes and before submitting any major written assignments. The module focuses on the importance of referencing and how to reference common resources correctly, as well as other principles of academic integrity, and programmes should consider offering course credit to encourage students to complete the module and learn the information therein. Library Liaison staff can assist with facilitating the module. 
  2. That Library Liaison staff be invited into classes to teach APA referencing, and that the support services of Library, Student Learning Services (SLS) and Te Kete Konae (TKK) be recommended. Support service staff will also promote additional workshops and support for APA referencing.
  3. Turnitin to be used whenever appropriate. Students given the opportunity to submit assignments through Turnitin before final submission, to allow them to amend / add references where necessary (with training to be provided to students on how to read Turnitin similarity reports).
  4. Reference management tools such as EndNote/Zotero/Mendeley to be promoted (particularly to Postgraduate students), with training and IT support provided.
  5. If there is evidence that a student has plagiarised, follow the procedures outlined in section AR:7.3a, Academic and Student Misconduct, in the Academic Regulations.
  6. Demonstration of academic integrity to be included as a learning outcome of all courses.
  7. Academic staff will undergo Library-led APA referencing training to ensure their marking of APA is accurate and consistent.
  8. Postgraduate students will be encouraged to work with Library staff on advanced referencing skills, to ensure their referencing is on par with the Publication Manual.

How the Library will support you:

  1. The Library will continue to maintain and provide access to referencing guides based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), with occasional deviations from the Manual where appropriate for ease of use.
  2. The Library will commit to assessing the Institute’s online resources and APA guides to ensure the content is relevant, engaging and easy to use.
  3. As above, Library staff can provide staff training on APA referencing and offer advice to ensure accurate marking of referencing. 

This LibGuide is the most up-to-date version of these guidelines.

 (Revised 2 August 2019)


American Psychological Association (APA). (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Lee, C. (2016, November 30). Writing website in-text citations and references [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Lee, C. (2017, February 02). Writing website in-text citations and references: Reply to Lisa [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Common queries

‚ÄčPage numbers for paraphrased material
Including page numbers in in-text citations following paraphrased material is strongly encouraged, 'especially when it would help an interested reader locate the relevant passage in a long or complex text' (APA, 2010, p. 171) but not mandatory. It is up to academic staff to communicate their preferences to students, but marks should not be lost for non-inclusion of page numbers of paraphrases.


Italicising website titles
Our LibGuide encourages italicisation of website titles. Reference reference management tools do not always automatically italicise. According to the APA Blog:

"Note that the title of the website or web page should be italicized in the reference list if the work on the page stands alone but not italicized if it is part of a greater whole " (Lee, 2016, para. 2).

However, a note from an APA blog contributor suggests that it is fine to adapt this as one sees fit (Lee, 2017). Therefore, while we tend to ask for websites to be italicised, students should not be penalised for failing to italicise the title of a website, particularly with the growing popularity of reference management tools.
On the topic of reference managers and websites, please also note, that while urls/DOIs are supposed to be made into live links, reference managers also don't do this, so again, please be lenient on this.
Contact Us

City Campus
(07) 834 8866
(07) 834 8800 ext 4452